MANILA – The World Food Programme (WFP) warmly welcomes Ireland’s donation of €250,000 (approx. Php 14 million), the first funding contribution to WFP’s emergency response to Super Typhoon Odette (internationally known as “Rai”).
In a statement release on 21 December, Ireland’s Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D. said, “Wherever a disaster strikes, Ireland is ready to do our part to help save lives and restore the dignity of those who have been affected. In response to this crisis, I have approved funding of €250,000 to the UN World Food Programme. This is an expression of our friendship and support to the people of the Philippines and will help to respond rapidly to the needs of the most vulnerable communities in the difficult days ahead.’’
Ireland’s new Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. William Carlos, and WFP Country Director Brenda Barton yesterday visited the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) National Resource Operations Center in Pasay. From here truckloads of government family food packs are being sent off to disaster zones along with critical items, such as portable satellite phones.
“Typhoon Odette has destroyed homes and livelihoods across the southern part of this country, leaving many communities in urgent need of assistance. The logistics support to enable the timely dispatch of the family food packs is absolutely critical, as is the telecommunications equipment that helps emergency responders know where and what the biggest needs are and respond accordingly,” said Ambassador Carlos.
“We are very grateful to Ireland for stepping up so quickly to fill our urgent logistics and telecommunications gaps. We were almost out of cash to respond to the critical needs that are emerging each day from disaster-struck communities across multiple islands,” said WFP Philippines Country Director and Representative Brenda Barton.
Through the aid of Ireland and other donors, WFP will continue to support the DSWD by providing critical logistics support to impacted areas. So far, 70,400 DSWD family food packs have been sent to the Visayas and Mindanao with WFP support. In addition, two mobile storage units and a generator for the establishment of a logistics hub in Surigao City have been provided to DSWD.
Typhoon Odette made landfall in Siargao Island on 16 December. It is the strongest storm to make landfall in the Philippines in 2021, and is the third strongest typhoon to strike the Philippines in December since the 1950s. After cutting across Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas making nine landfalls, it exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on 19 December, leaving behind massive damages, affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 2.4 million people, more than 600,000 of which are displaced from their homes and are now in evacuation sites.
Note: On 15 December, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue signed a three-year, €75m Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The SPA was signed by David Beasley, WFP Executive Director and Colm Brophy, Ireland’s Minister of State who has responsibility for Overseas Development and Diaspora. The SPA includes focus on the devastating impact of climate crises on food security. Ireland is also a champion of nutrition and has been chairing the Friends of WFP Nutrition since 2019. In advance of this new donation, Ireland had contributed over US$ 41 million to WFP in 2021, and US$ 35.9 million in 2020. Ireland is a champion of providing flexible funding modalities to WFP.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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Justine Marie Santos-Sugay, WFP Philippines, email@example.com, +639178293183